The Community of the Melanesian Brotherhood (MBH) commemorated Saint Simon and Saint Jude, two of its patron saints together with the closing of the 15th Great Conference of the MBH on Sunday 29 October at Tabalia, headquarters of the MBH, West Guadalcanal.
The Most Reverend Leonard Dawea, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (ACOM), father of the Brotherhood together with the regional and section fathers (Bishops) of the brothers from Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippines attended the service.
The highlight of the ceremony was the blessing of the new Headbrother Br. Junior Ini from Malaita and Guadalcanal, Assistant Headbrother Br Raynold Wobur from Banks and Torres in Vanuatu, Regional Headbrother for Solomon Islands region, Br. Barnabas Maru from Tikopia and Anuta, Regional Head brother for Papua New Guinea region Br James Kodawara from PNG, and Br Enis David from Vanuatu who was re-elected to lead the brothers in Southern region (Vanuatu).
This symbolic act represents a new chapter for the MBH leadership and their commitment to serving the community.
Additionally, the ceremony saw the admission of 37 novices into the Brotherhood, marking their formal entry into the religious order. These individuals have undergone extensive training and spiritual preparation for three years to join the ranks of the MBH and dedicate their lives to serving others.
Furthermore, the event included the renewal of vows for the 17 current brothers, reaffirming their commitment to their calling and the principles of the Brotherhood. This act serves as a reminder of the ongoing dedication and sacrifice made by these individuals in their pursuit of spiritual growth and service.
In a bittersweet moment, the ceremony also included the release of 16 brothers. This signifies their transition out of the Brotherhood, whether it be for personal reasons or to pursue other paths in life. It was a time of reflection and gratitude for their contributions to the MBH and a chance for them to embark on new journeys.
The regional and section fathers (Bishops) who were present to assist Archbishop Leonard in facilitating the ceremony, included Bishop James Tama, section father of the MBH Southern region (Vanuatu), Bishop Othnielson Gamutu, section father of the MBH inside Diocese of Central Melanesia, Bishop Benedict Loe section father of the MBH in the Diocese of Guadalcanal, Bishop Koete section father for the MBH in the Diocese of Central Solomons, Bishop Abui section father for the MBH in the Diocese of Hanuato’o, Bishop Keith Joseph section father for the MBH in Australia, Bishop Raynold Makele regional father for the MBH in PNG, and Bishop Jovy Fodulla, Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church, Philippines, who is the regional father of the MBH in Philippines.
Their presence underscores the importance of this event for the MBH and signifies the unity and support from the wider religious community.
The day’s ceremony not only commemorated Saint Simon and Saint Jude but also marks the closure of the 15th Great Conference of the MBH, which began on the 15th of this month. The conference served as a platform for the Brotherhood to discuss important matters, strengthen their bonds, and plan for the future. The ceremony’s conclusion signifies the end of a fruitful gathering and the beginning of implementing the decisions made during the conference.
As the MBH commemorates their patron saints and celebrates the closure of their conference, they look forward to the future with renewed faith and commitment. The Brotherhood continues to be a beacon of hope and service, providing spiritual guidance and support to communities across the region.
The day’s celebration ended with feasting and entertainments.